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August 15, 1980

Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head During Pregnancy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology (Dr Zolla-Pazner), Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Lanyi), and Medicine (Dr Meltzer), New York University Medical Center.

JAMA. 1980;244(7):689-690. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310070039027

ONLY nine cases of femoral head necrosis associated with pregnancy have been reported in the medical literature.1-5 In seven of these nine cases, predisposing causes other than pregnancy may explain the origin of the disease. In two cases, however, pregnancy was the only known factor.4,5 This case represents the third in which no other associated predisposing factors leading to femoral head necrosis were present. Thus, a small but important number of women in whom groin and leg pain develops during or soon after pregnancy may represent undiagnosed cases of this orthopedic complication.

Report of a Case  A 35-year-old woman (gravida 2, para 1, abortus 1) in the sixth month of pregnancy experienced the sudden onset of left anteromedial midthigh pain of mild severity without radiation. The pain occurred with weight bearing. The pain was initially attributed to probable femoral nerve compression. A severe limp rapidly developed, and the